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Community Events, Etobicoke, Events, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel, Vacation Travel

Things to do in Etobicoke

November 28, 2014

Bordered by Lake Ontario to the South and Steeles Avenue to the north; Mississauga and the Pearson International Airport to the west and by the Humber River to the east, Etobicoke still remains a large and distinct part of Toronto, even though it has been part of the amalgamated metropolis since 1998. Two of our properties, the Nuvo and Parc Nuvo, are located right near the subway, GO stations, and highway. There are a multitude of things to do in Etobicoke and close to your furnished apartment.

Things to do in Etobicoke1. Ski and Snowboard at Centennial Park.
Formerly known for being one of the best hills to toboggan in the GTA, it was recently deemed too dangerous. However, take your skis and snowboard to the hill, get a day pass or lessons. You don’t have to leave the city to discover the hills.

2. Famous People Players Theatre
This is dinner and a show with a twist. Not only is the show done in black light with the colourful characters showcased against the darkness; the people behind the puppets at this non-profit are all developmentally challenged. The company is now in its 40th year of entertaining audiences and worth the trip.

3. Via Allegro. Things to do In Etobicoke
This Italian restaurant is known for one of the greatest wine cellars in the world (there are over 5,000 wines to choose from!). This is a great pick for a decadent night out or a special occasion.

4. Colonel Sam Smith Skating Trail
The first of its kind in Toronto, this 250 metre ice skating trail is comprised of two figure eights or circles that wind through Colonel Samuel Smith Park (which is just as lovely in the summertime). Lace up at the Power House Recreation Centre, which historically provided heat to the local Lunatic Asylum where Humber College is now situated. The rink is open seven days a week, from 9am to 10pm. Please note that there are no skate rentals available.

Things to do in Etobicoke5. The Old Mill
The Old Mill is the historic inn that caters to all types of tastes and activities. Whether you’re looking to have their famous afternoon tea, relax with girlfriends for a spa weekend, listen to some jazz on a Friday night, or are having an event like a wedding (with spectacular photos) to match, the Old Mill is the ideal location for it all.

6. Ribfest!
This is one of Etobicoke’s most famous summer festivals. Sample over 16 different suppliers of ribs, bring out the kids for play, and listen to some music while you chow down at Centennial Park.

7. Etobicoke Olympium  Things to do in Etobicoke
This multi-purpose exercise centre is getting a lot of buzz with its $20 million renovation in advance of the 2015 Pan Am Games that will make this a world class facility once complete. It features competitive pools, diving boards, a 13,200 square foot double gymnasium, and exercise and training centre.

8. Sushi Kaji
Known as one of the best Japanese restaurants in Toronto, if not one of the best restaurants in the metropolis, do not be deceived by its location in a strip mall. All fish is imported from Tokyo Bay. Particular about its quality, Sushi Kaji only offers tasting menus and seats 30 for each service. It is best to make a reservation in advance.

9. Sherway Gardens.
This upscale shopping centre has over 200 stores including department stores, Holt Renfrew and The Bay.

Etobicoke has no shortage of fun activities. Check out 365 etobicoke for more fun things to do in Etobicoke.

Family Vacations in Toronto, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel, Vacation Travel

The Great Canadian Road Trip Playlist

November 19, 2014

Canadian Road TripCanada is the ideal country for a road trip. Connected by the Trans-Canada highway, between British Columbia and Newfoundland, there is no greater expanse of road or great musicians to listen to along the way. From classic Canadian folk to more modern pop-rock and electronic-infused songs, Canadian musicians are just as diverse as each province. Below is our eclectic songlist inspiration whether you’re driving to another province or cruising across to a few provinces. If you’re in Ontario, don’t forget we offer the comfort of home away from home in our furnished apartments across the Greater Toronto Area.

Our Canadian road trip playlist is an assortment of some popular bands and indie bands and artists. We didn’t list popular artists like Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, Shania Twain, Anne Murray, and Justin Bieber as their music is already well known. This songlist is in no particular order. You can also find the playlist on Grooveshark to add to your own collection.

1. Bobcaygeon by the Tragically Hip
2. The Old Apartment by the Barenaked Ladies
3. Comin’ Home by City and Colour and their cover of Kimbra’s Settle Down
4. Soft Offering by Hey Rosetta! (The video was produced on the stunning Fogo Island in Newfoundland and Labrador.)
5. I Feel It All by Feist
6. Closer and Body Work by Tegan and Sara
7. Red Barchetta and YYZ (for the drive from Toronto to Winnipeg) by Rush
8. Sunday Morning and Superstarr, Pt. Zero by K-os
9. Comme Des Enfants by Coeur De Pirate
10. Rebellion (Lies) by Arcade Fire
11. If it Feels Good Do It by Sloan
12. My Friend by Paper Lions
13. Good Mother by Jann Arden
14. Try by Blue Rodeo
15. Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot

Canadian Road TripTell us: what are your essential songs by Canadian artists for a Great Canadian road trip? What did we miss?! Do you have a favourite song on this list?

Community Events, Entertainment, Events, Family Vacations in Toronto, Lifestyle talk, Vacation Travel

10 Family Fun Activities in Toronto

October 31, 2014

When it comes to keeping your children occupied, you can choose from a multitude of family fun activities in Toronto. The chosen activities in the metropolis are all near your furnished apartment, with the exception of a few great day trips, that are must-sees just outside of the city. Here are a few of our favourite places to spend with your loved ones of all ages.

Family Fun Activities in TorontoRipley’s Aquarium of Canada
Ripley’s is an interactive and educational experience for the whole family. Discover over 16,000 aquatic creatures and be mesmerized by the the longest underwater viewing tunnel in North America. The daily dive shows are also a treat and may inspire your little ones to become a scuba diver one day. Special experiences include birthday parties and sleepovers.

Harbourfront Centre
Whether you’re visiting during major holidays or on breaks (March Break, Summer), there is always something for the kids to do here. Enroll your kids in a camp, a lesson (sailing, skating) or attend one of the many events here that happen every season. If you’re just taking a walk around the area, explore the fun, free structures around the area like the Simcoe Wave Deck. It’s right near our furnished condo at 300 Front Street.

Riverdale Farm
This free attraction can be combined with an exploration of both the historic Cabbagetown neighbourhood and Riverdale Park. Known as Toronto’s first zoo, it closed in 1974 to relocate to Scarborough. You can still see the remains of three of the original zoo buildings at the farm (Donnybrook Ruin, the Island House, and the Resident Zookeeper’s House). Not only is the farm and its surrounding area a great way to see the animals, it’s a great way to learn about Toronto’s history.

The AGO and ROM
Both the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum offer a number of educational and cultural activities and camps for kids of all ages.

The Toronto Zoo
Family Fun Activities in Toronto Explore the wildlife and wildlife spaces in a fun and interactive way. Divided into seven zoogeographic regions (from Africa to the Tundra Trek), there are a variety of animals and geographies to discover with your kids. Features include the New Gorilla Climb Ropes courses, the Xie Shou Giant Panda Experience and interpretive centre, the Great Barrier Reef exhibit, and the Kids Discovery Zone (including a splash pad and bird shows).

High Park
As one of Toronto’s largest park, High Park offers plenty of family fun activities in Toronto. Walk around the park and bring your kids to the Jamie Bell Adventure Park across from the Duck Pond. Down the trail, the free zoo is an added bonus. The kids will love learning about the lamas, buffalos, bisons, deer, and peacocks on display. In the spring, the cherry blossoms are a scenic display for an afternoon walk.

Centre Island
This main island, located on the Toronto Islands, is a great day trip for your kit and caboodle. Although closed for the 2014 season, during the summertime, pack a picnic, travel on the ferry to the island, and check out the amusement park, Centreville, with over 30 rides, both land and water based. Nearby, the Far Enough Farm offers over 40 different species of farmyard animals and exotic birds on display. If your kids are a bit older, you can ride bikes around the various islands to the beaches and find those picturesque spots to view the city skyline. There really is nothing like the Islands on a sunny day!

Treetop Trekking
For the adventurous family who has the time to travel to the Greater Toronto Area, Brampton Park offers treetop aerial game and zip line adventures. Swing like Tarzan and balance on logs and suspended bridges in the popular zip line and aerial course tour; or zip on the various lines with your kit and caboodle. Older kids can participate Family Fun Activitiesin the night treks. Do check the minimum ages for each activity.

Niagara Falls
A great day trip away from Toronto, the falls introduces your kids to one of the wonders of the world and can be explored from atop or below through various tours like the Maid of the Mist or Whirlpool jet boat. Beyond the falls, there are a variety of fun activities like a bird kingdom, a butterfly sanctuary, fun houses, and dinosaur adventure golf.

Lifestyle talk, Vacation Travel

Ten Tips for Travelling Solo

October 14, 2014

Tips for Travelling SoloTravelling alone, especially if you haven’t done so before, can be an intimidating experience. What if you don’t meet anyone? What if you forget something? What if you’re lonely? However, solo travel, whether for business or pleasure can be one of the most exhilarating experiences of all. Here are ten tips to ease into the transition of solo travel.

1. Safety first. One of the biggest myths – especially for women – is that solo travel is not safe. As at home, use common sense. Research your destination. Don’t go down dark alleyways alone at night. Stay in public areas if you don’t feel comfortable venturing out. Don’t drink excessively if you’re alone. Keep your valuables at home. Trust your intuition. You can go anywhere if you are alert and keep your wits about you.

2. Try a solo weekend trip. If you’ve always wanted to take a longer vacation or self-exploration period but are afraid of being lonely for an extended period of time, try a weekend away. This short escape can ease you into feeling comfortable Tips for Travelling Soloalone in another place. Big cities are great because there’s always so much to do and you’ll be so busy exploring and having fun that you’ll forget you’re alone!

3. Try a Tour. If you want to socialize, tours are a great way to combine your interests with meeting new people. Most big cities have bike tours, walking tours, or general interest tours. You can also find niche tours like the Sex and City Tour in New York City or cooking classes in Italy. If you’re more adventurous, there are entire trips dedicated to interests, like surfing or yoga where you’ll meet new like-minded souls. And group tours (like G Adventures, Intrepid Travel, and Trafalgar) are a great transition into a longer solo trip. Don’t forget to chat up your tour guide: they are a wealth of information and can point you to other tours or points of interest/people, or even accommodation in your cTips for Traveling Solohosen destination.

4. Try Furnished Rentals. Staying in a furnished rental is a great way to connect with the residents and locals and not feel as alone on the road. If you are in the city, we have a variety of furnished suites and apartments for rent in Toronto. If you are in a condo, try to look for social mixers to meet those in the building.

5. Sit at the bar. The bar is not only where the drinks are, but it’s where the singles and other people solo are, and easily one of the best places to meet others who are solo (mainly because the other solo diner is sitting beside you). Talk to the bartender. They are the invisible tour guides who are always on the pulse of restaurant and bar openings, trends, and of course, the best places to eat and drink in your chosen destination.

6. Pack Light and Smart. The best tip is to figure out how long are you are travelling and create outfits out of the least possible items of clothing you have. Pack garments you always wear that can easily be rolled in your carry-on/backpack that you can use more than once. Packing smart will enable you to get around your Tip[s for Traveling Solodestination more easily and safeguard you against the loss of luggage. For instance, in Europe, many train stations don’t have elevators, so the easier it is to carry what you have, the more seamlessly you can navigate your locale. Another tip: if you have a bag and a carry-on, make sure you have at least one night’s worth of clothing in your separate bag in case your luggage is lost or stolen. Keep your cash in more than one place (your wallet and a money belt, for example).

7. Plan but don’t Overschedule. Planning will help you get excited about the activities, attractions, and restaurants that interest you. However, you never know what you’re going to find or who you’re going to meet when you allow yourself to just wander.

8. Be a Good Samaritan. Even if you’re opening the door for a stranger, or venturing out on a volunteer vacation, random acts of kindness go beyond the borders of language. It may even help you meet new people.

9. Build a Vacation withiTips for Traveling Solon your Vacation. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget about the day-to-day tasks we need to catch up on after our vacation or during a long trip. Schedule in “off-days” to do laundry, send correspondence, or just relax and breathe. This goes for those on business travel too, and really helps if you need to recharge before tackling that email inbox.

10. Just Go! As cliche as it might seem, abide by Nike’s mission: “Just do it.” There may be doubts, or naysayers (including yourself) but you don’t know unless you try. Best of all: you don’t have to wait on anyone else. You can travel when you want and how you want. Who knows? You might meet someone along the away. You might even enjoy solo travel!

We hope these tips helped. What are some of your tips for travelling solo? Do you perfer to travel alone or with someone else? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

For sites on solo travel, we recommend solotraveler.com and legalnomads.com

Family Vacations in Toronto, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel, Vacation Travel

Tips for Travelling with Kids

October 8, 2014

Family TravelTravelling with kids can be an overwhelming experience, especially for the first time. However, it can also be a fun and rewarding experience to discover a new city with your family. Here are a few of our tips that will make the journey easier.

1. Prepare your child for the airport. As your kids may not understand the full experience of traveling, prepare them before the trip by reading books like “Airport” to educate and excite them about their upcoming journey.

2. Consider What to Bring, Flying Times, and Keeping Your Child Entertained on the Flight.
Being prepared can make the flying experience for your family easier. Have a backpack prepared with everything for the flight so it’s easy to find. Bring snacks that will take your child a long time to eat (like raisins) since in-flight options are limited or cost extra. Time your flights to your child’s sleeping schedule or try the red-eye flight. Consider buying a seat for your child, especially on longer flights for ease and comfort. In addition to having portable electronics amped up with your child’s favourite apps and games, surprise your child. Buy a new book or toy for the plane and wrap it up in tissue.

3. Consider renting an apartment, suite or condo. Though hotels have their perks, rentals can give you more space as well as the amenities or perks you may not find in a hotel. For instance, you may have a better supplied kitchen, watch movies without the pricey hotel tag, or invite friends over to dinner in your dining room. DelSuites is a great option if you’re in Toronto. DelSuites will help make the transition easy by providing a FREE ‘Kids Care’ gift for every child ages newborn to 14. Items including bath toTravelling with Kidsys, children’s books, playing cards, itunes gift cards and more.

4. Stay in an area where there is lots to do within walking distance. Being in a central area will keep you close to the action but nearby your accommodation. This will be helpful for those scheduled nap times and dealing with jet lag. It also helps if you are having meals at your short-term rental apartment for lunch or dinner. Location is key when planning your family vacation.

5. Get your child involved in the planning process. When considering activities, show your little one pictures of what he or she might like to do in location. Being involved in the process makes them more excited about the decisions they made. Look at local playgrounds, parks, and outdoor spaces. Not only are these a great way to see a new city like a local but also free!

Traveling with kids can have its moments but it can also be revitalizing. What are your tips for travelling with kids and your family? We would love to hear!

References:
Joanna Goddard – 10 Tips for Traveling with a Baby
Joanna Goddard – 10 Ways to Entertain a Toddler on a Plane
Oh Joy – Traveling Abroad with a Toddler